BADAAAAAAAAARG! (ad hoc problem)

Compaq PRESARIO V5000
January 13, 2009 at 09:43:18
Specs: XP, 1.2Ghz/512
Ever since I got this computer it has been nothing but a pain in the way of networking. Even reinstalling XP with a non-OEM copy has not helped. Anyway, due to my limited budget, I can't buy a wireless router at the moment. I run internet through ICS and an ad-hoc wireless network with a laptop connected to my modem. Everything worked (reasonably well, minus a few disconnection issues every once in a while) but I have reason to believe someone is using our network. My sister apparently heard someone say, "Sorry, we had to steal your internet" through her laptop speakers. That's a bit scary. O_O So I know even WPA ad hoc networks aren't the most secure, but it's the best I can do for now. Trouble is, it's not working. I've created a new SSID and given it a key on the internet computer. Now, I went to the others, and they didn't detect the network, so I created them manually again on those ones. Both computers that are not the internet computer seem to want to connect. The main computer, however, will not. (This thing has NEVER networked properly, not connecting or sharing resources, I really hate this thing) It sees the network, but when I try to connect the first time, it merely searches for new networks again. From then on it sits there with the little progress bar but never does anything. I've checked and unchecked everything I could find and tried recreating the network more than once, but no luck.

Any insights?

Why is windows networking such a pain? :\

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January 13, 2009 at 13:46:39
First, your embedded links seem to bring up a "Fraud Warning" about a web page that has been reported for distributing malicious software.

It is not clear in your post why you are configuring a ad-hoc network for the laptop running ICS. If the purpose is to use the laptop as an Internet router for your other computers, wouldn't it be better to configure it as a wireless access point and have the other computers configured with the laptop as the Internet gateway?

Your story about your sister experiencing some stranger actually speaking to her through the speakers in her laptop computer is bizarre. If this is true, and it is not something she initiated, then it would imply that somebody else is in control of her computer. I hope she doesn't have any personal/sensitive information on it.

This is not meant as an argument about your budget constraints, that's a personal matter which you should deal with as you feel is best, but the price of a basic wireless router is less than the monthly cost of your Internet connection. It seems a trivial sum when compared to the anguish and fustration you are reporting.

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January 13, 2009 at 18:28:05
Hmm, I didn't embed any links... O_o Maybe you're talking about the ads that this site puts in?

Would you mind telling me how to make this laptop a wireless router? It uses a built-in wireless chipset and softAP with other wireless adaptors I have gives spotty results.

I'm planning on buying a router as soon as I can. I don't pay for my internet access (family member) and the person who does agrees that it is worth the investment. I just have yet to go to Micro Center to get the cheapest one I know of. But this isn't just the internet. I want to be able to access resources from other computers on my network every once in a while. Once I get my router I can do a VPN, but in the future I still want to know how I can solve this predicament. I just want to know how to fix the ad hoc network.

I'm actually really not that frustrated about it. I guess you took my post a little bit more seriously than I intended. :D

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January 15, 2009 at 14:39:31
I just looked back at this thread. Yours is the first post where I started noticing the new garbage this site is embedding in people's posts. I mistakenly thought you were adding the links for some unknown reason. Sorry about the misunderstanding.

Anyway, about your follow-up post, I thought that was what this "SoftAP" software did - allow the laptop to work as a wireless router. I was just confused as to why you had it configured as a ad-hoc network instead of as a wireless access point if what you want it to do is share the Internet among household computers. It sounds like the peer-to-peer aspect of an ad-hoc network is more important to you.

I really don't know how to fix your ad-hoc network, but it sounds like it broke when you tried to install the WPA security to the SoftAP. From things I've read, your problem may be that the wireless security is not implemented the same way in the wireless software on these different computers. It seems there are variations in this wireless security protocol among vendors, so it may be that it is not possible for you to get these computers to communicate while using WPA security. That's why I suggested just using manually assigned IP addressing so that you can turn off the DHCP on the laptop and not need the WPA. That's really the security problem, the DHCP just assigning an IP lease to any old computer that calls in.

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January 15, 2009 at 14:57:29
Hmm, well I wouldn't have the slightest clue
how to configure the internal chipset to act
as a SoftAP. I was only able to with my other
adaptor because someone had hacked a driver
to allow me to do so. As far as I know, they
should be using the same system of security
since they all use Windows' wireless zero

I seem to have solved it for now-- I set it
to use WEP instead of WPA. (I think it may
have had something to do with shared
authentication.) Apparently this is easy to
crack, though, so I'll look into turning off
the DHCP. :D Thank you very much for helping!

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